In the world of computers, Data Breaches are becoming more and more common. This blog will discuss how data breaches happen, what they are and how you can keep yourself and your team safe from them.

What is a Data Breach?

Data breaches are when large amounts of user data are leaked or released intentionally by malicious individuals or hackers. This information is then spread publicly or sold for malicious purposes. It could be used to cause further breaches, hack into user accounts and even in some cases steal money.

How does a Data Breach happen?

There are many different causes for a data breach. These are some of the most common:

  • Insecure Passwords

Hackers find it very easy to gain access to an account when the password is something as simple as “Password123” or “123456”, or “your dogs name and date of birth” as these are very easy to guess or through brute force. From here they could access sensitive information and gain access to an account with ease.

  • Phishing emails

Phishing emails are emails that pose to be someone you know, in an attempt to make you reveal sensitive information. This information can then be used to steal accounts, personal information and in some cases, money.

In 2014, the billion-dollar internet company, Yahoo, suffered a huge data breach, which ended up with 1.5 billion users accounts being compromised. This all happened because a Yahoo employee clicked on a link in a phishing email sent to them. Through this, they allowed hackers access to their network and publish the personal information of 1.5 billion People online, almost a fifth of the world’s population!

  • Software Vulnerabilities

Using outdated software can leave you vulnerable to Cyber-attacks, as new vulnerabilities are being discovered every day. Updating software on a regular basis is becoming increasingly important.

In 2017, the Credit Agency Equifax, suffered a large data breach, causing the data of almost 150 million users to be leaked, 200,000 of these containing sensitive credit card information. This was caused by Equifax using an outdated customer complaint portal, to which hackers found vulnerabilities for online and gained access to the company network.

How can I keep safe from data breaches?

Strong Passwords

Having a strong password or pass phrase is essential in preventing unwanted access to your accounts. If you have difficulty thinking up or remembering passwords/phrases then use a password manager to do it for you. It is very important to make sure each password you use is:

  • Unique and only used for one online account
  • Longer than 8 characters
  • A combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Not containing the names of People, or pets or anything someone might associate with you in order to figure out the password

If you think someone has discovered your password, it is important that you change it as soon as possible.

Be vigilant about Phishing emails

In a company, it is very important that every member of the team is educated on how to spot and deal with phishing emails. One person slipping up and believing a phishing email could be all it takes for personal information to be breached. If you spot a suspicious email, always make sure to report it as Phishing and let your colleagues know about it – it could save them from falling victim.

Keep Software up to date

It’s always highly important to update all software regularly. Outdated software can leave you more vulnerable to data breaches and cyber attacks as important security updates haven’t been applied.

If you are concerned about data breaches in your business or wish to discuss how to increase your security please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at MJD.  Let’s make IT work for YOU.


Written by Oliver Souter

Due to the severe weather & thunderstorms last night in Scotland, there has been a broadband outage in Edinburgh at one of the major exchanges, which is affecting many areas across Scotland.

We have reported outages from Forres, Elgin, Fochabers, Buckie, Aberdeen, Huntly & Aberlour.

BT have said in a statement: “Following severe storms and flooding in Edinburgh last night, engineers are working to restore broadband to affected parts of the city as soon as possible but due to the scale of the damage we don’t expect service to be restored until later today (Wednesday).

“Phone and mobile services are not impacted. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.”

We are currently still operating as normally as can be expected, our DR plan for this kind of emergency has been activated and is working. We are currently working with our clients to setup remote working etc. If you have a requirement for remote working we can set this up without visiting your site, just give us a call 01343 610999 or email

Please find below a link to our Business Breakfast, the perfect opportunity to get the real information about Cyber Essentials and GDPR in plain English, at the moment there are still places left and we would love to see you there, don’t worry if you’re not a chamber member, non-members can attend.

“MJD systems are delighted to announce that they are also being joined at the business breakfast by Kirk Tudhope, Partner with Ledingham Chalmers one of Scotland’s leading law firms,  Kirk heads the firm’s Employment Law Team and has a particular interest in GDPR.  Kirk will explain how data protection operates and translate some of the GDPR’s most torturous terminology into plain English. If we understand what the legislation says then we can have a meaningful discussion about the practical implications for our businesses. This will dovetail with Mark Dunscombe’s Cyber Security information which covers an essential  part of GDPR compliance.

 Data Protection affects every business as it governs how all of us should handle individuals’ personal details including those relating to staff, clients, customers, suppliers and contacts.  The duties to protect these details already places significant obligations on us all but the new GDPR regime,  which will come into force in May 2018,  will significantly increase the demands we have to meet. It also increases the penalties if we are in breach.  

 Handling personal details is something we do every day of our working lives. All businesses now need to understand and embrace the duties in relation to the vast amount of personal data we all hold and start preparing for the GDPR. A failure to do so means we are creating real risks for ourselves and the future of our businesses.

 The Moray Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast will showcase a joint presentation and Q&A with the speakers from both MJD Systems and Ledingham Chambers. As always there will be networking time which will allow the opportunity to speak to the presenters individually afterwards and, will be the perfect opportunity to have your Cyber Security and GDPR questions answered from trusted, knowledgeable advisers.

 There are still spaces available and Moray Chamber look forward to seeing you all there to learn from this essential informative presentation and network over a delicious breakfast provided by the team at The Eight Acres Hotel.

 Thursday 26th October
8am – 10am

Eight Acres Hotel Elgin

Contact Georgia on or 01343 543344 for tickets”

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